Jim Shelley & Book Of Kills


"I listen to music and I make music and try to go into a space that's not an intellectual space. You step out of it to have a conversation like this (the podcast "The Great Albums") about it, but, to me, music should just give you a feeling. And when you make it, you should be trying to make your audience and listener have a feeling. Which is different from trying to show off your skills or just getting into an intellectual, analytical place but to me it's all about feeling. [Music should] make you feel something. Certainly it makes me feel something. And gives you images and pictures beyond a two dimensional space and that makes it special." -- Adam Weiner (of Low Cut Connie)

Garfield, George III and I will practice tonight for the first time in (I think) over three weeks!

On occasion, someone will ask me how much "I make" from folks downloading or streaming my music. The reply is (sadly) laughable. Let's take just one album...the single disc BOK compilation SONGS FOR A PLAYED OUT GENERATION...which was the first album I ever uploaded to CDBaby way back in May of 2005 (that's TWELVE years ago). In that time tracks from it have been streamed or downloaded 3111 times as of June 2017. Jeez. That's already kind of pathetic, right? That comes out to just 260 streams/downloads a year for that particular record. I've collected about $88 in total payments from iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and so forth which equals slightly less than 3 cents a pop. Now, streaming sales (almost no one downloads anymore) have picked up a little over the years (after all, I now have twenty-five albums on Apple Music and Spotify), but those figures give you a pretty good idea about the plight of the unknown musician. If you don't tour constantly, you're pretty much shit out of luck, eh?

I'm also occasionally asked (someone just posed the question a couple days ago) how long I intend to continue making music. As far as writing and/or recording goes, I don't see myself stopping any time soon, but who knows what the future holds for any of us? As far as playing live? Well, standing in front of a crowd of people and trying to play and sing my own songs well enough to connect with them has always been a difficult, though not unenjoyable, thing for me to do. It has become increasingly difficult for me to lug around an amplifier, but then it's not something I do all that much in the first place anymore. When the band I'm in now runs its course (all things must pass, as George Harrison once sang), I don't know if I'll try to put anything else together. There are certain line-ups or certain individuals I'd probably jump at the chance to play with one last time but those people are all off in their own worlds now. One or two of those line-ups I'd even be willing to tour with. 

But right now all I'm worried about is making our current little trio good enough for people to come see. It's hard getting people to come see a rock band anymore, you know? 

Dang. This is kind of a fucked up entry, isn't it? Or is it? Hell, I don't know. I'm going back outside and work some more on fixing up the house. There's still a lot of work to be done. Seems like it never ends.